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world spay day - why?

Pet sterilisation is one of the causes that DDFD is passionately committed to suppawting - but do you know why?

The problem of stray animal overpopulation is rampant in South Africa. In 2022, the number of stray cats and dogs in the country was estimated to be 4.1 million. While animal shelters are doing their best, there are simply not enough facilities to reach the hungry and hurting stray animals that don't receive food, veterinary attention, or affection. With every unsterilised animal, these injustices are multiplied exponentially:

As today (February 28) is World Spay Day, it's the perfect time to discuss the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet:

  • Life-saving health benefits

Despite the myth that animals should only be sterilised after their first heat cycle, doing so as early as safely possible is one of the best things you can do for your pet. In females, spaying eliminates the possibility of ovarian tumours and infections, and significantly decreases the risk of mammary and uterine cancer (from 26% likelihood after second heat cycle to 0.5% prior to first heat cycle) . In males, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces chances of developing prostrate problems. Sterilising your pet means they can live healthier lives for a longer period of time (an extra 1-3 years for dogs; 3-5 years for cats).

  • Reduced roaming behaviour

When pets are driven by hormones, they are focused on finding a mate. When pets are out and about, they're at higher risk of being lost, injured, or killed due to traffic, fighting with other animals, or contracting communicable diseases like FIV and FELV (feline AIDS and leukemia). Sterilising your pet curbs their desire to get frisky and roam, and being home is being safe!

  • Reduced hormone-related aggression

Pets are less likely to get into fights with other animals over asserting dominance when they are sterilised. However, this does not mean that dogs are less effective at guarding the house after being sterilised! In fact, Dr Annelize Roos (community vet and sterilisation superhero) notes that a reduction in sexual aggression helps dogs stay focused on their guard duties.

  • Reduced/eliminated territory marking

Do we need to elaborate? Less spraying from males to mark their territory, less urination from females to attract males. Far more pleasant for the home.

  • No heat-related issues

No pets bleeding on furniture during their heat cycle, no yowling of female cats to attract mates, no going hunting to find males!

  • Prevents pregnancy (saves lives)

While some people project their beliefs onto their pets, the truth is that animals do not need to have a litter to feel complete. Your pet will not feel that they are missing something if they do not give birth - your pet is happy to be healthy and be with you. Too many animals are looking for homes, and too many are euthanised or die on the street because homes cannot be found. By sterilising your pet, you are helping the pet overpopulation problem!

If you've not yet sterilised your pet, contact your local animal welfare organisation or vet to book their appointment now! The surgery is simple when performed by a qualified vet - your pet will be put under anaesthetic so they do not feel any pain, and most animals are back to their usual selves mere hours after the surgery!


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